Wed. Dec 6th, 2023

Journey to the Center of the Earth VFX lead explains how Brendan Fraser went to bat for them when he found out they weren’t being paid.

Brendan Fraser, VFX, Journey to the Center of the Earth

It’s no secret that visual effects artists are frequently overworked and poorly compensated, which seems unfair when their work drives so many of these billion-dollar blockbusters. If you need another reason to love Brendan Fraser, you’ve come to the right place. Brendan Fraser starred in Journey to the Center of the Earth 15 years ago, but when he found out the VFX artists behind the movie weren’t being paid, he went to bat for them.

Dave Rand was the VFX lead on Journey to the Center of the Earth and took to Twitter to explain how the “righteous” Brendan Fraser helped them out.

Dave Rand worked for Meteor Studios in Montreal at the time, but when their paychecks stopped coming, the studio asked him and his crew to stay and finish the movie, promising they would all get paid with overtime. “We had a handful of shots left,” Rand explained. “As soon as we delivered the last shot, we were escorted out. It was two weeks before Christmas and we’d soon learn there was no money. Meteor was declaring bankruptcy. They owed us 1.3 million dollars.” He took the story to Variety, but they didn’t want to touch it. Rand guessed that the studio had put pressure on them to bury it. He tried contacting Brendan Fraser directly, only for his “people” to say that they’d pass the information along to the actor. They didn’t.

Finally, the gossip section of The Post picked up the story, and one hour later… Rand got a call from Brendan Fraser.

My phone rang as I was reading the piece, a 212 area code, I answered to thank the girl, but a man answered and he said. “Is this Dave Rand?” I said “Yes”. “This is Brendan Fraser, what the fuck is going on?”

Brendan Fraser had no idea that the VFX artists hadn’t been paid and promised that he would keep in touch until things had been put right. “Brendan kept his promise, he publically campaigned for us,” Rand said. “We finally got 80% of our money almost 2 yrs later. To quote the great Steve Hulett : ‘What runs the world isn’t what’s right, or who’s the richest, it’s leverage, and who has it.’ We’d had none, but Mr Fraser gave us wings. He’s a righteous dude.” Indeed he is, and now he’s an Oscar-winning righteous dude.

By Dave Jenks

Dave Jenks is an American novelist and Veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Between those careers, he’s worked as a deckhand, commercial fisherman, divemaster, taxi driver, construction manager, and over the road truck driver, among many other things. He now lives on a sea island, in the South Carolina Lowcountry, with his wife and youngest daughter. They also have three grown children, five grand children, three dogs and a whole flock of parakeets. Stinnett grew up in Melbourne, Florida and has also lived in the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and Cozumel, Mexico. His next dream is to one day visit and dive Cuba.